Do mods give warnings via email, private messages,or posts?

I’m wondering, what if I violated a rule just before I went backpacking w/o my laptop for a week. Would I find an email or private message warning upon my return, or is it my responsibility to always check the boards where I post?

Almost all warnings are given in posts. We might email or PM them if we got the sense you weren’t checking the thread anymore. And sometimes we send people emails to tell them they’re at risk for a suspension.

Sometimes? Would you ever not do this? If not, why?

Sometimes we send warnings by email, other times the warnings are made in posts. There’s no particular rule there. If a situation got out of hand very fast we might not have a chance to give a warning at all.

Why does that preclude telling someone by e-mail that he is at risk for suspension? Just wondering.

Posting vs. emailing, you mean? It doesn’t preclude it, but there isn’t much point in doing both. That doesn’t mean it never happens. The implementation is pretty much up to whoever broaches the topic of “I think we should warn so-and-so he’s at risk for a suspension.”

The same happens with ordinary Warnings, for that matter, not just alerts that suspension may be imminent. Usually, warnings are posted in the same thread as the offense, but we recognize that not everyone comes back to read all threads they’ve posted in, so we do sometimes also send an email. Why not send an email every time? Because often the offense is small and hasn’t been (or isn’t likely to be) repeated, and we don’t want to alarm people with email warnings. And also, frankly, because it takes more time that we think it’s worth.

ASIDE: This is a good time to remind folks to be sure that your email address in the registration is current!

Sometimes the warnings (or discussions thereafter) are entirely in email, and not posted.

So, as noted, and as with all things: depends on individual circumstances.

I’m confused. How can a suspension be imminent if the offense is small?

Are there that many situations where a poster is about to be suspended? Not that I don’t appreciate the demands on your time.

Please note that I am not referring to regular warnings, only to situations where a suspension is possible.

I believe he was saying that we don’t send an email after making every single warning because “often the offense is small” and so on.

No. There are two posters out on suspension right now, and in the six months I’ve been doing this, it’s usually been one or zero at any given moment.

I’m sorry I haven’t been clear. I am asking specifically about e-mails concerning suspensions. Note the quote from you that I first responded to:
*And sometimes we send people emails to tell them they’re at risk for a suspension.

To which I replied :
*Sometimes? Would you ever not do this? If not, why? *

So, why is it a hardship to e-mail a poster who is at risk for suspension?

We probably (in general) would not email a poster to warn him he’s at risk for a suspension if we’ve already made a post telling him the same thing. It’s not necessary. Dex was saying it wouldn’t be worth the time to email people for every single warning they get. He refers to “ordinary Warnings” at the beginning of his post.

Bolding mine, for emphasis.

If it is not strictly necessary, it is still a damn good idea, inching up on necessary. After all, it has been noted that people sometimes do not return to threads. And some offenders, at least those who are not purposefully trolling, seem oblivious to the fact that their posting style is crossing the line.

So why not take a moment to notify someone who is close to losing their posting privileges? Seems like common sense and good manners. And not doing so could give the impression that the moderation staff is hoping the poster will cross the line, so they can be suspended. (I’m not saying that is the case–in fact I doubt that it is. I’m just saying it could appear that way.)

Sometimes they don’t return to threads, but it’s not the norm. Particularly in the kind of heated conversation where a warning is most likely to be needed.

I respectfully disagree. Most warnings are one-off situations where somebody loses his temper for a minute. The poster get warned for it, and it doesn’t happen again, or at least it doesn’t happen again for a long while. In those cases, people are aware of where the line is and there’s no risk of a suspension.
Somebody who gets a bunch of warnings close together, or who just keeps getting warned every couple of months, is not oblivious. That’s somebody who is unwilling or unable to change his behavior, and in that kind of case, we hope a break from the boards will get them to think harder about what they’re doing. We’ll usually warn them before we get to that point, but sometimes they step way over the line and we skip the warning.

Thanks for the reply. I’ve gained a lot of insight from it.

You’re welcome. I think. :wink: